Vancouver council approves money for music-industry liaison to take position at city hall

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      Today (July 10) city council agreed to spend $400,000 in support of Vancouver's music industry.

      “These actions will crank up support for our growing arts and culture community, create and preserve important spaces, and focus the city on ensuring that creative people are able to stay and build a future in Vancouver," Mayor Gregor Robertson said quoted in a media release.

      As per recommendations drafted by Sandra Singh, the City of Vancouver's new general manager of arts, culture, and community services, the money will go toward creating a temporary but full-time staff position with the city for someone who will advocate for the music sector and who will work with musicians who require attention from city hall on issues such as permits and funding.

      In addition, this person will create a number of grants available to "Vancouver-based, music-focused projects" that match priorities set out in the report approved by council.

      A July 10 media release emphasizes the city will also attempt to assist Vancouver musicians with challenges related to housing affordability.

      "Focusing on spaces where artists and creative workers can live, work, and share their work, the 2018 Cultural Infrastructure Plan supports Vancouver’s creative and cultural sector at a time when nearly two-thirds of artists in the city live below the poverty line," it reads.

      Included in the report that went to council is an economic analysis by Sound Diplomacy for which Vancouver musicians were surveyed on their needs and desires.

      "Similar to other sectors, the Vancouver music community faces challenges posed by the lack of affordable housing and music spaces, inadequate remuneration, municipal red tape, as well as missing infrastructure to develop the next generation of music artists and music industry professionals," the study found.

      That document also highlights the important role that music plays in Vancouver and B.C.'s economies overall.

      "In 2017, B.C.’s live music sector contributed 6,950 FTEs [full-time equivalent jobs], $619.3 million in labour income and $815.8 million in GDP to the provincial economy," it reads. "B.C. boasts over 160 recording studios, over 285 music companies, and more than 400 festivals that take place across the province each year."